Posts tagged virginia
11-Year-Old Girl BANNED From Selling Cupcakes By Control Freak Government Bureaucrats
America is being suffocated to death by red tape. You are about to read about an 11-year-old girl in Illinois that had her cupcake business brutally shut down by government bureaucrats. Her name is Chloe Stirling and her crime was doing something that we used to applaud young people in America for doing. Instead of sitting on her sofa and watching television all day, she actually started her own business. And it turned out there her little business started thriving. In fact, it started doing so well that a local newspaper took notice of it. Well, that is when the control freaks swooped in and took her business away and banned her from selling any more cupcakes. The really sad thing is that people are being paid to do this with our tax dollars. All over America, little entrepreneurs are having their lemonade stands shut down and are being banned from selling Girl Scout cookies, and our tax dollars are paying the people that are doing it. As I wrote about earlier this month, the level of economic freedom in the United States is at an all-time low, and it gets worse with each passing year. The country that so many of us love is dying, and it is being replaced with something that I like to call “the USSA”.
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Americans, you have to have a government “license” or “permit” to do just about anything. If the government does not give you permission, you can get into a whole lot of trouble.
Little 11-year-old Chloe Stirling must have thought that this was still the nation that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson once founded, because she dared to actually start a business and sell cupcakes to the public. Little did she know that she would soon make national news…
An 11-year-old girl from Illinois got a dose of regulation American-style this week when local government officials shut down her cupcake business.
Chloe Stirling, from Troy, got the front-page treatment from her local newspaper, which featured how well her business, Hey, Cupcake, was doing. By all accounts, it was a successful little enterprise. Chloe was getting $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 for each specialty cupcake. She even donated her cupcakes when a boy in her school fighting cancer held a fundraiser.
So why did they shut her down?
Well, it turns out that she didn’t have a “permit” to sell cupcakes and her kitchen was not “licensed”.
Like I said, you have to have permission from the government to do just about anything these days.
Another example of this phenomenon that is absolutely infuriating took place out in Fauquier County, Virginia. When a mother held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls and posted the photos on Facebook, she never imagined that she would soon be hit with $15,000 in fines…
Martha Boneta owns a small farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, where she recently hosted a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls. They wore hats, picked veggies, and made goat’s milk soap. The county says she should have obtain a license before hosting such an event and hit her with a $5,000 fine.
Boneta also got slammed with two more fines for $5,000 each, one for advertising a pumpkin carving and another for violations in the small shop on her property. Boneta sells produce from her farm, as well as eggs, yarn, birdhouses, and local crafts. She sought and received a license for the shop in 2011, but the county now says she can’t sell handiwork or produce from her neighbors under that license.
Stuff like this just makes me want to scream sometimes.
What is happening to this country?
A few years ago, my wife used to take old pieces of furniture, sand them down, repaint them and sell them to others. It was something that she really enjoyed doing and she made some extra money along the way.
But if you try doing that in some areas of the country today, the EPA could potentially hit you with a fine of $30,000 for a single incident in which you do not follow the proper procedures. The following is an excerpt from a discussion that some furniture painters were having on Facebook. It is a little technical, but it is worth reading. In this excerpt the identity of the business has been removed to protect the business from overzealous regulators…
As a painter in PA, I am required by law to test everything that I disturb and I must charge the customer $60 for every test I perform which adds up. What the law states in my area is that if I disturb more than 6 square inches on anything made prior to Jan 1 1979 I must test it. Disturbing means, sanding, scraping, or even using a sponge/scuff pad (like you use on your pots) if I disturb more than 6 inches, I must take photographs, document in 4 different logs, I have local, county, state, and federal log books. If I find lead then I must suit up. Originally, the law stated that if there were no children around then you didn’t have to do that however some lame brained legislator decided that if a child enters the premises for more than one hour a day, we must assume they will be in contact with the lead and therefore will contract lead poisoning. Then the legislators decided that if you were over the age of 60 then it didn’t matter, you didn’t have to test who cares if you get poisoned. Lo and behold OSHA stepped in and joined forces with the EPA, they decided that all were at risk including your pets and the leaves on your trees can hold the lead dust and …..well, that’s a whole other issue.
What is happening now is that so many painters decided they weren’t going to follow the lead law, that OSHA and EPA send out secret shoppers. A lot of us don’t even put our logo’s on our vehicles because that invites these shoppers to investigate. If you come to the **** ********, you won’t see signage on the building, you have to get to the actual door of the workroom to know we are there. We no longer have logo’s on our vehicles either as the fines are too stiff. There isn’t one of us that can afford a find of $30,000.00 A DAY, not a year, A DAY.
The government bureaucrats are running wild and the rest of us are just sitting back and letting it happen.
Things have gotten so bad in this country that the federal government even requires small-time magicians to submit “disaster plans” for the rabbits that they use in their acts. The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles…
Central planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control. These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape. For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows. Yes, this is actually true. His name is Marty Hahne, and he thought that it was bad enough when the U.S. Department of Agriculture busted him for not having a “license” for his rabbit. He went out and acquired the proper “license” for his rabbit, but he never dreamed that eventually he would also have to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the same rabbit.
You can read the rest of that article right here.
Are you starting to get the picture?
These control freaks want to completely dominate every aspect of our lives. The “nanny state” is entirely out of control and it is up to “we the people” to do something about it.
Barack Obama revealed the kind of mentality that is behind this “nanny state” when he recently made the following statement…
“I would not let my son play pro football”
And without a doubt, the control freaks that run things will try to ban football (or at least “tone it down”) the moment that they think that they can get away with it.
America was supposed to be a place where liberty and freedom were maximized and the interference of the federal government in our lives was supposed to be minimized.
Instead, what we have now is just the opposite.
No wonder Americans consider the government to be their biggest problem.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Virginia Gun Crime Drops, as State’s Firearms Sales Soar
VIRGINIA – Amid calls nationwide for stricter gun control laws, Virginia is experiencing a unique trend: the state’s gun-related crime is declining but firearms sales are increasing.
Firearms sales rose 16 percent from licensed gun dealers in 2012, according to sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. During the same period, major crimes committed with firearms dropped 5 percent. “This appears to be additional evidence that more guns don’t necessarily lead to more crime,” said Thomas R. Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes in research methods and criminology theory.
“It’s a quite interesting trend given the current rhetoric about strengthening gun laws and the presumed effect it would have on violent crimes,” Baker said. “While you can’t conclude from this that tougher laws wouldn’t reduce crime even more, it really makes you question if making it harder for law-abiding people to buy a gun would have any effect on crime.”
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said that the data show that most of the guns being sold are “going to decent people”. “That’s not going to affect crime and, in fact, all those extra guns can actually work to lower crime because those are going into the hands of (concealed) permit holders or people using them to defend their homes,” Van Cleave told the newspaper.
Cities use Eminent Domain to Fight Foreclosures
In recent years, that practice has been expanded to include lucrative corporate ventures, such as shopping malls or even casinos, that can expand the local tax base. Yahoo News points out that Richmond, Virginia is about to become the first city in the U.S. to attempt using eminent domain as a way to stop foreclosures.
About half of all homeowners with mortgages in the city are underwater – meaning that they owe more than their home is currently worth – in some cases, up to three or four times as much. On July 29, the city sent out letters offering to buy 626 underwater mortgage loans for what it considers a fair market price.
If the offers are declined, the city intends to condemn the properties through eminent domain.
“Caveman Blogger” Wins First Amendment Case
Posted by NextNewsNetwork
Published on Jul 4, 2013
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — North Carolina resident Steve Cooksey used the so-called paleo diet approach to lose a huge amount of weight and apparently cure himself of type-II diabetes, which is one of the nation’s most serious public health problems.
The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition accused Cooksey of offering nutritional advice without a license and demanded that he make significant substantive changes to his blog or face legal action.
This report also includes…
CULPEPPER, Virginia — The current and former police chiefs of Culpepper, Virginia have invoked “sovereign immunity” in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of a 54-year-old woman who killed by a troubled police officer whom they kept on the force despite a long record of misconduct.
DENVER — An official audit of Colorado’s State Crime Laboratory found that the facility’s supervisor would manipulate results of forensic tests in DUI cases to favor the prosecution.
WASHINGTON — Two prominent U.S. Senators are demanding that Russia be made to pay a price for refusing to arrest and extradite NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as “an old colonel KGB apparatchik,” Arizona Republican Senator John McCain accused him of setting the “reset button” on U.S.-Russian relations “back … to about 1955.”
Posted by Judy Morris
How Did America’s Police Become A Military Force On The Streets?
Are cops constitutional?
In a 2001 article for the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, the legal scholar and civil liberties activist Roger Roots posed just that question. Roots, a fairly radical libertarian, believes that the U.S.Constitution doesn’t allow for police as they exist today. At the very least, he argues, police departments, powers and practices today violate the document’s spirit and intent. “Under the criminal justice model known to the framers, professional police ofﬁcers were unknown,” Roots writes.
The founders and their contemporaries would probably have seen even the early-19th-century police forces as a standing army, and a particularly odious one at that. Just before the American Revolution, it wasn’t the stationing of British troops in the colonies that irked patriots in Boston and Virginia; it was England’s decision to use the troops for everyday law enforcement. This wariness of standing armies was born of experience and a study of history—early American statesmen like Madison, Washington and Adams were well-versed in the history of such armies in Europe, especially in ancient Rome….
Police departments across the country now sport armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battleﬁeld. Some have helicopters, tanks and Humvees. They carry military-grade weapons. Most of this equipment comes from the military itself. Many SWAT teams today are trained by current and former personnel from special forces units like the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers. National Guard helicopters now routinely swoop through rural areas in search of pot plants and, when they ﬁnd something, send gun-toting troops dressed for battle rappelling down to chop and conﬁscate the contraband. But it isn’t just drugs. Aggressive, SWAT-style tactics are now used to raid neighborhood poker games, doctors’ ofﬁces, bars and restaurants, and head shops—despite the fact that the targets of these raids pose little threat to anyone.
Read the rest at The Liberty Crier, here.
Costco Employee Shot to Death by Police
Posted by NextNewsNetwork
Published on Jun 10, 2013
LOUDON COUNTY, Virginia — Mhai Scott, a Costco employee, began behaving oddly while handing out pizza samples at the store in Loudon County, Virginia on May 29. Two Loudon County deputies were sent to investigate the disturbance.
One of them shot her with a Taser, which failed to subdue her. The other deputy fired five shots with his sidearm, fatally wounding the woman.
This report also includes…
WILLARD, Utah — The fatal shooting of 49-year-old Willard, Utah resident Cody John Ramseyer by Willard Police Chief Nate Thompson was found “justified” by Box Elder County Attorney Stephen Hadfield — despite the fact that Ramseyer was unarmed and outnumbered.
WASHINGTON — Former EPA head Lisa Jackson, who is now an environmental adviser to Apple, employed the alias “Richard Windsor” in her correspondence with other Obama administration officials and environmental activists.
EDMONDS, Washington — Several schoolchildren in Edmonds, Washington were suspended for a day after bringing Nerf guns to their sixth grade class at Chase Lake Elementary School on May 31.
OWINGS, Maryland — Bruce Henkelman of Huntington, Maryland told WMAL radio that his son, a sixth grade student at Northern Middle School in Ownings, received a ten day suspension after a bus driver overheard the child talking about the Sandy Hook massacre.
Whether one agrees or not with supporting / joining the upcoming scheduled open carry march on D.C. on July 4th one thing is almost guarantied. If history proves anything the mainstream media will black this out until they can either edit and spin the story to their owner’s advantage or a provocateur created action gives the MSM the green light, as the spin has already taken place.
Below are article snippets with links to the full resources for the information I have seen to date. Research on your own if you choose as I am sure more information and opinions are available than I have had time to mention here.
By Lori Stacey
In what can only be described as perhaps the ultimate test of the 2nd Amendment in our nation’s capitol, an open carry march with loaded rifles is being planned for Independence day.
The organizer for this event is Adam Kokesh, an outspoken advocate for gun rights and veteran of the Iraq War. He is well-known within the Patriot community for pushing the envelope in order to bring attention to our constitutional rights and defense of them. He hosted a television show on Russia Today called Adam vs. The Man and has continued to bring forth radio segments on the internet using the same show title since leaving RT.
Adam was one of the organizers of a gutsy march on the White House on Presidents’ Day back during the primaries in support of Ron Paul. It was a march that comprised exclusively several hundred veterans and active duty military members whose goal was to proclaim that “Ron Paul was the choice of our troops.” It was carried out peacefully and respectfully but received very little national mainstream press coverage in spite of the uniqueness of such an event.
In perhaps Adam’s most courageous planned event to date, a march is scheduled for the 4th of July. A facebook group has been set-up to organize and plan the event which will be a march with loaded rifles slung behind participant’s backs. The information regarding the march openly discloses to interested participants that it will be a non-permitted event into Washington, DC where open-carry is forbidden to be done according to current gun control laws.
As stated in part within the facebook group’s information:
Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.
This event will be truly a test of whether or not the American people are still “allowed” to “peaceably assemble” freely without the unconstitutional need to get permission from the government, i.e. by permit. That is one aspect of the march that should be noted.
The above video is Adam Kokesh’s first media appearance on the Alex Jones radio and TV show since he announced his armed march on D.C. Adam expanded on his publicly announced plan to lead an armed formation of 2nd Amendment Rights activists from Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery to the White House and back. He told Alex Jones that this is an armed revolt and an overthrow of the illegitimate government but he agreed with Alex that what he means by that is it is a symbolic overthrow of their violation of the civil rights of American gun owners. This is a powerful interview, read the CNS news article below.
Alex Jones Interviewed Radio host and activist Adam Kokesh plans to lead an armed march from the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia all the way to the White House and back.
According to a Facebook event posted by Kokesh, titled “ Open Carry March on Washington,” he plans to lead a peaceful march July 4th “across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge.”
As of 7:00am on 5/8/2013 there are 2,663 people who are intending to participate in this event.
But if Adam Kokesh follows through with his July 4 plans — 2,500 people have signed up for the cause — he and his makeshift band will be met on the Arlington Memorial Bridge by two police forces packing guns of their own.
Kokesh, 31, and D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier say they want to work together to ensure a peaceful airing of grievances. But the chief says only one side can have guns: hers. And she’ll have backup from the U.S. Park Police, which will also position officers at the District line.
“If you’re coming here to protest government policy, great,” Lanier said Tuesday on her monthly appearance on NewsChannel 8, reacting to the group’s plan to cross the Potomac River from Arlington National Cemetery. “If you’re coming here to break the law, we’ll take action.”
Lanier added, “There’s a pretty good chance we’ll meet them on the D.C. side of the bridge.”
Kokesh is calling the event an “ Open Carry March ” but described it as a general demonstration against “tyranny,” not a protest against specific gun laws.
News of the march comes amid a national debate over gun regulations that emerged after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Kokesh has chosen to stage his protest in one of the most strictly regulated cities when it comes to firearms laws — and one of the most contested.
By John Raines
There’s been a lot of confusion about Adam Kokesh’s armed protest march into Washington and multiple people have stated the group will simple turn around if they are met with resistance. I’d like to clear up some of the incorrect assumptions regarding political geography in the Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia area.
First some history. During the colonial period, both Virginia and Maryland claimed ownership of the Potomac River. In 1776 Virginia ceded control and legal ownership of the portion of the river where the two states share a border in the Virginia Constitution.
Some time later in the 1790s Virginia and Maryland ceded land to the Federal government for the creation of Washington D.C. The portion of the Potomac that ran through the District was no longer part of Maryland but became part of D.C. In 1847, the Virginia portion was “retroceded” back to Virginia. However, the Maryland portion originally ceded to the Feds provided the legal ownership over the Potomac and remained in the possession of Washington D.C. This arrangement continues to this day.
What does this all mean? Conventional wisdom would assume that the border between two states is at the middle point of the river. However, with the Potomac this is not true. Since Washington D.C. has ownership of the Potomac River to the lowest point on the Virginia side, (through Maryland’s prior ownership) Adam and his formation will have a very short march before they find themselves in violation of D.C. law. So short in fact, they may mistakenly believe they are still in Virginia before even reaching the Memorial bridge as Columbia Island between the two locations is part of D.C. (Lady Bird Johnson Memorial park).
The Associated Press | Posted: Feb 27, 2013 4:49 PM ET | Last Updated: Feb 27, 2013 5:25 PM ET
The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices voiced deep skepticism Wednesday about a section of a landmark civil rights law that has helped millions of Americans exercise their right to vote.
In an ominous note for supporters of the key provision of the Voting Rights Act, Justice Anthony Kennedy both acknowledged the measure’s vital role in fighting discrimination and suggested that other important laws in U.S. history had run their course. “Times change,” Kennedy said during the fast-paced, 70-minute argument.
Kennedy’s views are likely to prevail on the closely divided court, and he tends to side with his more conservative colleagues on matters of race.
The court’s liberals and conservatives engaged in a sometimes tense back-and-forth over whether there is still a need in 2013 for the part of the voting rights law that requires states with a history of discrimination against blacks, mainly in the Deep South, to get approval before making changes in the way elections are held.
Justice Antonin Scalia called the law a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, a vocal skeptic of the use of race in all areas of public life, cited a variety of statistics that showed starker racial disparities in some aspects of voting in the northeastern state of Massachusetts than in the southern state of Mississippi. Then he asked the government’s top Supreme Court lawyer whether the Obama administration thinks “the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?”
The answer from Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was no.
Location of law
The question, and others like it from the conservative justices, largely echoed the doubts they first expressed four years ago in a similar case that ended without resolving the constitutionality of the latest renewal of the voting rights law, in 2006. They questioned whether there remain appreciable differences between the locations covered by the law and those that are not.
They also wondered whether there was any end in sight for a provision that intrudes on states’ rights to conduct elections and which was regarded as an emergency response to decades of state-sponsored discrimination in voting, despite the U.S Constitution’s Fifteenth Amendment guarantee of the vote for black Americans.
The provision shifted the legal burden and required governments that were covered to demonstrate that their proposed changes would not discriminate. Another part of the voting rights law, not being challenged, allows for traditional, after-the-fact claims of discrimination in voting and applies across the country.
As his administration was defending the voting rights law, U.S. President Barack Obama was across the street at the Capitol unveiling a statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who in 1955 famously refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man. The court will have to decide whether the conditions that gave rise to that seminal event are, like the statue, a part of history, or whether they persist in parts of the nation.
The court’s four liberal justices, including Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, appeared uniformly to be willing to defer to the decision by Congress that more progress needs to be made before freeing states from the special federal monitoring.
Those justices aggressively questioned Bert Rein, the lawyer representing Shelby County, Alabama, a southern state, in its challenge to the law.
Sotomayor acknowledged some parts of the South had changed, but she asserted that recent voting rights lawsuits in Alabama suggested that Shelby County, near Birmingham, has not made sufficient progress.
“Why would we vote in favour of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with?” Sotomayor asked.
Kagan chimed in that any formula devised by Congress “would capture Alabama,” where she said certain discriminatory voting practices have persisted.
But Rein said the issue was whether the formula in place, using statistics that are at least 40 years old, remains a valid way to determine which locations have to ask for permission to make voting changes.
Protection of minorities
Debo Adegbile, a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund, argued to the court on behalf of local Alabama elected officials and civil rights leaders. He sought to show the justices that there is a current need for the law, an effort to counter the court’s admonition four years ago that current conditions, not history alone, must justify the continuing application of the law. The NAACP is a leading civil rights organization.
In 2011, Adegbile said, a judge in Alabama cited state lawmakers’ derogatory references to African-Americans as a reason to continue to protect minority voters through the Voting Rights Act.
But Roberts challenged the lawyer. “Have there been episodes, egregious episodes of the kind you are talking about in states that are not covered?” the chief justice asked.
Absolutely, Adegbile replied.
“Well, then it doesn’t seem to help you make the point that the differential between covered and noncovered continues to be justified,” Roberts said.
The requirement currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, and some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire. Coverage has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaska Natives and Hispanics.
Among the covered states, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas are siding with Shelby County, while California, Mississippi, New York and North Carolina argue that the law should be upheld.
Nearly 250 of the 12,000 state, county and local governments covered by the law have used an escape hatch to get out from under the special oversight by demonstrating that they and smaller places within their borders no longer discriminate in voting. The 10 covered towns in New Hampshire are poised to exit as they await federal court approval for an agreement between the state and the Justice Department.
A decision is expected by late June.
The US Department of Defense has hired a California company to tailor-make a mobile platform capable of detecting an individual person’s fingerprints, eyes, face and voice from a distance.
AOptix, a technology innovation company based in Campbell, California, announced the $3 million research contract to develop a biometric scan system for the Pentagon. The firm will work together with CACI International Inc., an information technology company, to deliver the new detection system.
The company was chosen by the DoD as it offered a “unique integration of biometrics, including iris, fingerprint, face and voice recognition, with smartphone technology,” a company press release reads.
AOptix promises to incorporate its breakthrough technology in providing the Pentagon with a tailored platform with “exceptional ease of use coupled with unparalleled identity verification accuracy for in-field use, even under challenging conditions.”
“Users of these systems in-field will benefit from a more compact, lightweight, versatile and accurate identity verification device than has previously been available,” Dean Senner, Chairman and CEO of AOptix said in a statement.
The hardware that the DoD will be offered is peripheral, and is an add-on to a phone which gives the mobile device the necessary sensing capabilities to acquire the biometric data. AOptix will also provide a software package to decipher the data.
Currently, Washington uses a device known as the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection System (HIIDE) to scan, upload and transmit someone’s biometric information. AOptix boast better specification, as its product can scan faces two meters away, irises from one meter, and voices from within the typical distance from a phone. Thumbprints will require a special glass surface.
CACI is being brought in as an expert of DoD technology and deployment criteria. The firm, based out of Arlington, Virginia, has experience in managing data in secure environments, most importantly in mobile device management, secure wireless transport and advanced encryption
It is speculated that the new application will be made for the Android operating system, Wired Magazine reports. The Pentagon is expecting delivery in two years.
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
The new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone authorization list obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit reveals more than 20 additional public entities allowed to fly drones over the United States.
This news comes as Charlottesville, Virginia passes a resolution banning drones, the entire state of Virginia might pass a drone moratorium, a Justice Department white paper was leaked outlining the supposed legal justification for the drone assassination program, the Obama administration is reportedly going to release legal memos to intelligence committees and the location of a CIA drone base in Saudi Arabia was revealed after two large media outlets withheld it at the government’s request.
This brings the total to 81 public entities authorized by the FAA to fly drones as of October 2012, according to the list obtained by the EFF. Keep in mind, documents obtained by the EFF reveal that drones are already flying over the United States.
Furthermore, we now know the military is operating drones domestically and sharing data with law enforcement, at least one National Guard unit uses drones, the Department of Homeland Security has embraced small spy drones and colleges and universities are offering more drone piloting programs to keep up with this drone boom.
End the Lie contacted the EFF’s media liaison by phone, confirming that this list is not merely applicants but indeed entities that have been authorized to fly drones over America.
Some of the newly approved agencies include the State Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several sheriff’s departments including Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho), Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Northwest Oregon), Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota) and King County Sheriff’s Office (covering Seattle, Washington).
Another interesting new addition highlighted by the EFF is the Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (near San Diego, California).
Interestingly, Ohio had several new entities approved, including the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Sinclair Community College and Lorain County Community College.
The concerns raised by this new list are legion. One of the most significant concerns is the privacy and civil liberties implications of domestic drone use, especially given the advances in drone technology.
Among the most worrisome advances are: the capability of potentially constant surveillance thanks to solar power and laser-based charging methods, drone-based facial recognition technology, automated tracking systems, a drone-based camera capable of capturing 36 square miles of imagery at once, ultra-stealthy drones and even fully automated weapons systems.
The EFF also points out, “Even the smallest drones can carry a host of surveillance equipment, from video cameras and thermal imaging to GPS tracking and cellphone eavesdropping tools. They can also be equipped with advanced forms of radar detection, license plate cameras, and facial recognition.”
The EFF hopes that the release of the new list will “spur more people to ask their local law enforcement agencies about their drone programs.”
Thanks to a partnership with MuckRock, it’s even easier to request this information from your local agencies.
The EFF is encouraging people to “ask hard questions of government officials about who is funding drone development in their communities and what policies the government will demand agencies follow if they fly drones.”
“We need greater transparency and citizen push-back to protect Americans from privacy-invasive domestic drone use,” the EFF concludes.
About Madison Ruppert
Madison Ruppert is a Los Angeles-based independent journalist and researcher as well as the founder, owner, administrator and editor of EndtheLie.com. He has no affiliations with any government agencies, political parties, non-governmental organizations, or economic schools. He is available for freelance writing assignments and appearances or interviews in any format. He can be reached by emailing Admin@EndtheLie.com